Roses Hints and Tips

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Jan

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Jun

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Nov

Dec

May

Keep an eye out for greenfly and remove by hand or use a systemic rose insecticide. Remove rolled up leaves and destroy them - they will contain either the green caterpillars of the tortrix moth or grey-green sawfly grubs. Spray for blackspot or remove the leaves as the spots appear. Remove faded flower buds and continue watering through any dry weather. Feed weekly when flowering.

Buy plants from Thompson and Morgan.

June

If you like long stemmed roses for cutting, tea roses can have their side buds removed with finger and thumb, to allow the main bud to produce a large flower on a long stem. Remove rose suckers by carefully drawing the soil away from the rootstock and pulling down to remove the suckers (don't cut them or they will grow again!). Keep watch for greenfly and remove - a prickly job but well worth it. Watch for blackspot and remove and destroy leaves. Any stems that have not produced shoots can be cut out. If you didn't add mulch in May, add some this month. Deadhead flowers regularly and keep roses in pots watered.

July

Summer pruning takes two forms – harvesting flowers for household decoration and dead heading to remove faded blooms. In both cases it is a chance to form the rose plant into the desired shape – encouraging new growth to grow in the right directions to maintain a shapely plant and encouraging the next set of blooms to form quickly. Leave as many leaves as possible on the plant when removing blooms as these are the source of energy to produce a healthy and prolific plant. Roses need food and a good time to feed them is after the first flush of flowers are over to give them a real boost to continue flowering throughout the season – specialist rose fertiliser is best as it will have the correct mixture of nutrients ideal for roses. Greenfly will continue to be a problem throughout the summer and a systemic insecticide may need to be deployed to control the problem.

August

Continue to remove blooms as they fade to encourage more flowers. Do not apply any more rose fertiliser as the growth it will encourage will not mature sufficiently to be of use to the plant before the onset of the winter months. Spray for greenfly as they appear.

Buy plants from Thompson and Morgan.

September

Continue to deadhead roses and keep greenfly under control. Mulch your roses to give them some winter protection. Hybrid tea roses will need to be disbudded if you want quality blooms; to do this remove the two side buds from each cluster. Climbers will still need tying in to avoid wind damage. For those that flower once a year, cut back all old growth, which has flowered, to ground level, or to where there is a strong side shoot. Where there are no new stems keep the strongest stems but prune the side shoots which have already flowered to within 3in. of the stem. This will encourage new shoots which will produce flowers next year. Cuttings can be taken from climbers, floribundas and hybrid teas this month. Cut a shoot that is this year's growth, approx. 12in. long, cutting below the bottom leaf and just above the top leaf. Your cuts should be made at an angle. Remove the thorns and all but the top two leaves. Insert the shoots in hormone rooting powder and place in a trench or rose pot, with a layer of sand at the bottom, with the soil just below the leaves.

October

Preparation should now be ongoing for new rose beds - dig the garden deeply and incorporate as much organic matter and well rotted manure as you can get your hands on so that it all has time to settle before planting takes place next month. Keep an eye out for late greenfly on existing roses and spray as required.

November

November is the idea time to plant roses, while there is still enough warmth in the soil to encourage roots. If you are unable to plant new roses straight after purchase, dig a temporary trench deep enough to contain the roots and up to 3 inches of stem. Water before filling in the trench and firming in. If you are able to plant immediately, stand the roots in a bucket of water for an hour or so. Trim off any flower buds, twiggy shoots and damaged roots. Your holes should be deep enough to contain the roots and 1 inch of green stem. Put some proprietary rose fertiliser in the hole and carefully hold the rose at the correct height whilst backfilling with soil. Gently firm the soil, taking care that the rose is still at the correct height.
Standard roses should be planted to the depth of the old soil mark. If you have to store these before planting, they should be laid at an angle in the trench, to avoid wind damage. Standards should bed staked, with the stake on the windy side.
Climbing and rambling roses should be planted at least 15 inches from walls and angled slightly towards it. Tie stems loosely onto wire or wooden supports on the wall.

Buy plants from Thompson and Morgan.

December

If the soil is dry or moist, with no frost or snow, roses can be planted out. If you are unable to plant out, if possible heel them into a trench or pot up in tubs, for planting later. Clip long lengths on bush roses to approx. 2.5 feet which will help to prevent wind damage. Check cuttings and ensure they are heeled in. Pot roses can be brought into the greenhouse and watering stopped. Clip these towards the end of the month, pruning to outward facing dormant buds, about 6 in. above the soil level. Douse the pots in water and keep warm enough to keep the frost out.

January

If there is no frost and the ground is not too heavy, continue planting roses. Check plants that may have incurred damage from high winds and stake with canes, inserting them at an angle to form a cross which the plant will lean on. Greenhouse roses should be watered once a week.

February

Roses can be planted if the soil conditions permit - dry or moist conditions are acceptable but you will need to delay planting if the soil is wet or sticky or if the ground is hard with frost.

Buy plants from Thompson and Morgan.

March

Plant roses out as early as possible. If you haven't already prepared the beds, dig them over, adding compost and bonemeal. Prune each bush before you plant it, also cutting out damaged roots and cutting all roots back to 12 in.
Roses under glass will need ventilation. On sunny days spray them in the morning to create a moist atmosphere. Feed the plants once a week and keep an eye out for greenfly.
Prune roses once hard frosts are past, generally towards the end of the month. All roses except climbers and weeping standards which flower once in summer, can be pruned now. Make a clean cut at an angle quarter of an inch above an outward-facing dormant bud, sloping to a point level with the bud on the opposite side. Cut out any dead or frost-damaged wood.

April

Finish pruning and feed with fertiliser, hoeing it into the surface. The new growth of climbers and ramblers should be tied to a cane, to aid pruning later. If the weather is dry, water newly planted roses. Mulch beds with manure, compost or grass cuttings.
Roses under glass should be fed onced a week with liquid fertiliser. Keep the ventilators open and glass shaded.

Gardening information, hints and tips on how to get the best from your roses throughout the gardening year including pest control, pruning, growing for cut flowers and general care advice.